Russian media reported today, Wednesday, that the big explosion that occurred at the port of Beirut yesterday, killing 100 people and injuring thousands, resulted from a chemical fertilizer on a ship owned by a Russian citizen and abandoned years ago.
The Lebanese "LBCI" channel reported that the ship "Roussos" stopped at the Beirut port six years ago due to a breakdown while it was on its way to Africa with a shipment of about 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
The Russian "RBC" media group stated that the ship was on its way from the Georgian city of Batumi to Mozambique, and was owned by a Russian citizen, Igor Grechushkin, residing in Cyprus.
The group quoted members of the ship's crew as saying that, after the holidays, Grechuschkin had effectively abandoned the ship in Beirut and had failed to pay the ship's crew.
Because of the risks associated with keeping ammonium nitrate aboard the ship, Beirut Port authorities unloaded the cargo in the port warehouses, where it had been there for years awaiting an auction or consideration of appropriate disposal.
LBCI reported that a fire broke out yesterday during welding work at the facility, which led to the explosion.